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Automotive, Transport & Logistics

Electric Power Systems of U.S. Selected as Provider of EPiC Battery System for Aircraft Production: SkyDrive


SkyDrive Inc. (hereinafter “SkyDrive”), a Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan-based developer of “flying cars” (*1) and “cargo drones,” is pleased to announce that it has selected Electric Power Systems, Inc. (hereinafter “EP Systems”) headquartered in North Logan in the U.S. state of Utah, a leading provider of high-power scalable powertrains that are certifiable for electrified aviation, as a partner to design, develop, and manufacture battery system of “SD-05.”

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With the mission of “leading the once-in-a-century mobility revolution,” SkyDrive is developing flying cars to realize a future that utilizes the sky for daily transportation. In 2025, it aims to enter into service in the Osaka Bay Area using the flying car of the SkyDrive Type SD-05, a two-seater vehicle for which SkyDrive is currently applying for type certification.

A high-power battery system plays a critical role in the development of the two-seater SD-05. EP Systems has numerous battery systems currently powering customer flight demonstrator vehicles such as NASA X-57, Aurora Flight Sciences Pegasus, and many other aircraft manufacturers. EP Systems is currently in partnership with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to certify batteries for general aviation aircraft and will complete its first Technical Standard Order (TSO) (*2) in 2023.

EP Systems is a leading provider of high-power scalable powertrains that are certifiable for electrified aviation. It develops energy storage systems, DC fast-charging stations, and electric propulsion products for the aerospace, defense, automotive, marine, and industrial traction industries.

Boeing and Safran invested in EP Systems in 2019 and in 2021 to complete development and certify their EPiC battery system for high-volume manufacturing. EP Systems’ current and publicly announced customers include the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the FAA as well as Boeing, Safran, Bell Textron, Embraer, and Diamond Aircraft.

SkyDrive has selected the EPiC battery system, which includes battery modules and a battery management system, and which is safe for handling the disconnect box for SD-05 aircraft, with the target of launching its service using flying cars in the Osaka Bay Area in 2025.

Comments from the companies
Nathan Millecam, CEO, Electric Power Systems, Inc.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of SkyDrive’s plans for the future of flight and looking forward to collaborating with the team.”

Tomohiro Fukuzawa, CEO, Representative Director and President, SkyDrive Inc.
“EP Systems is our ideal partner for this essential element of our two-seater aircraft SD-05. They are very focused and committed to develop performing and reliable battery systems. With their excellent support to define the best solution for our customers, we will continue to develop our aircraft.”

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Editor’s note:
(*1) Flying cars, formally eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft, are characterized by electrification, a fully autonomous autopilot, and vertical takeoff and landing. A new advancement in the field of mobility, the development of flying cars is being promoted globally. In Japan, the Public-Private Council for Air Mobility Revolution was established in 2018 for that purpose. The project is expected to lead to taxi services in urban areas, new means of transportation for remote islands and mountainous areas, and emergency transport in times of disaster. A roadmap formulated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) anticipates the start of business in 2023 and full-scale deployment in 2030.

(*2) Technical Standard Order (TSO): A TSO is a minimum performance standard for specified materials, parts, and appliances used on civil aircraft. When authorized to manufacture a material, part, or appliance to a TSO standard, this is referred to as TSO authorization. Receiving TSO authorization is both design and production approval.

Source: SkyDrive Inc.